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Glanvillia, Saint John, Dominica
i am a mom/wife/textile designer gone haywire. I love to sing(music/arts AA degree), craft, exercise, and be goofy. Just living life outside the norm. And the norm thanks me for it. Oh yeah, and I like me some haikus. . . . . . . . . . What are we up to currently? Aaron recently started medical school at Ross University on the island of Dominica in the Caribbean, and the kids and I are along for the crazy ride :)

Perfect and Easy Pie Crust

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One of my favorite sites has a new post about making pie crust.... I am so excited about this method because it always seemed like a messy hassle before- this is SO much better! Take a gander!

Megan's Soiree

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy 6th Birthday, Megan!

Tonight we had a small family birthday party for Megan's #6! She said that she wanted to have a soiree (swah-ray), so everyone came dressed up and we had some dancing and she performed her ice cream song for us. She looked so pretty in her flower girl dress from Katie's wedding. I made her a pink striped sock monkey (she told me she wanted one after I made the first one for jeremy) out of socks she picked out at Target. She got lots of great gifts- a learn how to play the harmonica book with a harmonica, a pretty necklace and rings, some fancy nancy books (those were a hit with all the kids-she called them fancy wancy, LOL), a furReal Friends baby bird that drinks from a bottle and sqwaks and flaps it's wings, and the coup de grace- Grandma and Grandpa got Megan an American Girl doll- Mia, the ice skater. They realized that Megan's hair was done just the same as the doll's which Megan thought was soooo cool.

She was so happy to have the family here and the Knudsens who couldn't make it to her kid birthday party on Saturday (oops- and Lynnette, but I was counting you as family :o). She was sad to not have Grandpa Shumway here, but he got to listen on speaker phone as she opened presents. As always we missed the out of town family- the Pages and Harwards (and everyone that name entails) and love you mucho!

A little gun history

Saturday, November 15, 2008

That's a pretty hefty BB gun, eh? LOL. I found the following email interesting- I have recently been talking to my brother (yup, that's you, Rob) about purchasing a firearm as part of my emergency preparedness. He told me how shotguns are the best for people with no shooting experience since it's basically a broadcasting bullet and on top of that it's good for emergency situations since you can shoot whatever you can shove in the barrel (make sure to ask about this when buying a gun since not all guns are created equal). There are also guns with interchangable barrels for different needs- close/far range, hunting, home protection, etc.. By the way, by posting this email I'm not saying that we are all going to be rounded up and exterminated, I'm just saying "protect your family against anything that may come." That can range from home invaders to hunger.

In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about
20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million
Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945,
several million people who were unable to defend themselves were
rounded up and exterminated.

China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million
political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and

Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan
Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
---- ------------- -------------

Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000
Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million
educated' people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and
Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because
of gun control: 56 million.

It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by new
law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own
Government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million
dollars. The first year results are now in:

List of 7 items:

Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent
Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent
Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!
In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300
percent. Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the
criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!

While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed
robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12
months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the
ELDERLY. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety
has decreased, after such monumental effort, and expense was expended in
successfully ridding Australian society of guns The Australian experience
and the other historical facts above prove it.

You won't see this datum on the US evening news, or hear politicians
disseminating this information.

Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes,
gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.

Take note my fellow Americans, before it's too late!

The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them of
this history lesson.

With guns, we are 'citizens'. Without them, we are 'subjects'.

During WWII the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew
most Americans were ARMED!

If you value your freedom, Please spread this anti-gun control message to
all of your friends.

The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense.
The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important
than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.

As John Steinbeck once said:

1. Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just
kill you.

2. If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

3. I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

4. When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.

5. A reporter did a human-interest piece on the Texas Rangers. The reporter
recognized the Colt Model 1911 the Ranger was carrying and asked him 'Why do
you carry a 45?' The Ranger responded, 'Because they don't make a 46.'

6. An armed man will kill an unarmed man with monotonous regularity.

7. The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented on
his wearing his sidearm. 'Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you
expecting trouble?' 'No Ma'am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have
brought my rifle.'

8. Beware the man who only has one gun. HE PROBABLY KNOWS HOW TO USE IT!!!

But wait, there's more!

I was once asked by a lady visiting if I had a gun in the house. I said
Idid. She said 'Well I certainly hope it isn't loaded!' To which I said,
'Of course it is loaded, can't work without bullets!' She then asked,
'Are you that afraid of someone evil coming into your house?' My
reply was, 'No, not at all. I am not afraid of the house catching fire
either but I have fire extinguishers around, and they are all loaded too.'
To which I'll add, having a gun in the house that isn't loaded is like
having a car in the garage without gas in the tank.

I'm a firm believer of the 2nd Amendment! If you are too, please educate your friends and family about the importance of protecting your family.

Want to learn how to bake bread???

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I have friends who are intimidated by the thought of baking bread. I found this AWESOME site called The Fresh Loaf (don't ask me how I found it, I'm an infamous blog-surfer with a short-term memory). If you visit the Lessons tab, you'll find step-by-step tutorials on how to bake bread. Lesson 1 tells you the basic ingredients in a loaf of bread and what they contribute to the finished loaf- along with a recipe and directions for this novice-suited loaf. The next lesson features the different things that are added into bread and what they do to change the color, texture, and taste of the bread along with a slightly more advanced recipe... each lesson gets more in depth and I love it! I already bake bread and I thought it was very informative and well written. Yay bread! Baking bread is a great thing to know when money's tight and you're living off your food storage :o) With the economy in such a quick recession we might all be baking our bread before long! For extra points, you can bake this in your apple box oven LOL. Now go bake some bread!

Blog Candy

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nope, I'm not talking about real candy. For those of you who aren't blog surfers,(I would be happy to call myself one of you...but I can't) blog candy is when someone offers a reward or product giveaway for commenting on the post. Sometimes you have to do other things, like comment about the giveaway on your own blog- like I'm doing here :o) Visit youwantthecookie to see the awesome blog candy being offered there!

Megan's talent show

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Megan was in her talent show in September and I never posted about it. Since I've been doing a back log of posts, I figured it would be ok to post this one. She sang "The Icecream Store" (a song I learned when I was working for Talent Team). She did great. She forgot to do her actions, but she looked so darn cute that when she walked up to the microphone there was an audible "ahhhhh" from the audience. She sang her words clearly and on pitch. Good Job Megan! I'll put the video on as soon as Aaron figures out how to get it on here. Here is a picture of her holding the program (she was the only kindergartner on the program):
This is half of the program......
I'll put pics of her on the night of after I get them from my friend, Shelly.
The lyrics:

The Ice Cream Store
When I go to the ice cream store
I ask the ice cream man
To tell me all the flavors
As many as he can

The list is very long
I’d read it if I could
But I’d rather hear him name them
‘Cause they always sound so good

He says peppermint, pistachio,
Chocolate chip and peach
He lifts me on the counter
Because I cannot reach

English toffee and caramel
Lime and lemon freeze
Then I tell him "Thank you.
I’ll have vanilla, please!"

Donation of Halloween Bows

Hey everyone- Megan's school had a Fall Festival and asked for donations of items and services from people who owned businesses. There are a lot of those kind of people at Megan's school- it being a reputable charter school. I decided to donate some Sweet Pea bows and clips for halloween to the raffle. I also threw in some baby headbands that I had from before and put a halloween one at the top of each of those cards. Thought I'd share the pics (from my phone-poor quality, sorry):

Sorry the top bows on the headband pics are hard to see. They were cute :o) I gave the two long cards, then I gave four bow cards and four flower/bat cards. They split them up into four drawings.

Root Canal

Yup. My first and I'm sure not last root canal. Dr. Matheson was awesome. He even let Aaron assist. During the procedure there was a small leak in the rubber dam (the big rectagluar green thing around my tooth) and so when he would bleach the tooth (yes, they use regular household clorox) Aaron held the vaccum right close to the tooth and then we would rinse and then vaccum out anything that had leaked under the dam. It was working just fine until Dr Matheson was nice enough to let Aaron try the bleaching process.... Well, Aaron had the bleach syringe and the vaccum so while he was doing a great job, he forgot about the vaccum and my throat was flooded with bleach. ACK! I sat straight up and began spitting and sputtering (all of this with the dam dam still on my face... oops, I duplicated a word- I'll just leave it. I hate editing) and they squirted my mouth out with water, but for the rest of the procedure my throat was itchy and I still tasted the beach. Poor Aaron felt so bad. I still love you honey! It turned out great. Thanks Dr. Matheson!

The infamous sock monkey......

I made my first sock monkey last week for Jeremy Rains' first birthday.... There is a great step by step tutorial on how to make them here. Here's how it turned out:

Now Megan wants me to make her a pink one for her birthday :o) It took a while and my back hurt when it was done, but it was so cute and soft. It was worth it.

Our Apple Box Oven

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ok, so we went to the Preparedness Fair in Gilbert, AZ on Saturday, November 1st that all of you readers were invited to. *shame shame I know your name... well maybe not all of you, but you get the point* I learned some very cool stuff like the bath canning and emergency cooking methods. My favorite one that seemed relatively easy to make and easy to use once it's made, was the Apple Box oven. I had planned on doing an activity with the young women the following Tuesday about outdoor cooking and when I saw this I said "that's it- That's what we're going to do on Tuesday." This Apple box oven was made by my girlies in YW (us leaders help very minimally)- you go girls! One thing we found out is that there cannot be any flames present when you place the box on top or the tape will come off, so if you make this, keep that in mind. Also, instead of using the cookie cooling rack on top of four empty soda cans, I found stackable cookie cooking racks at Walmart (3 for $9) and I just used two and stacked them to get the desired height off of the coals.

Here is Matthew the following morning- We got bored and made some biscuits in it. they were yummy! (sorry about the poor quality- I took this photo with my phone)

Here are the instructions:

An Apple Box Oven is a great way to bake when an emergency situation exists. All you need is your oven, charcoal and matches and you will be able to bake anything that you could bake in a conventional oven. It is also economical as you are not using electricity and it actually uses almost half the charcoal as Dutch oven baking. You can bake bread, pies, casseroles, cookies. . . anything that you want to bake.
Constructing the Apple Box Oven:
You will need:
1 sturdy cardboard apple box (20 inch x 13 inch and 12 1/2 inch high.)
1 80-inch length heavy duty aluminum foil
1 90-inch length heavy duty aluminum foil
Masking tape and Metal repair tape (this tape was found in the duct work dept. or our local hardware store. It looks like duct tape but is shiny--like metal.)
Optional for a window: (1 ) plastic oven bag & metal tape
If there are any holes in your apple box, cut extra cardboard to fill holes and cover patch with metal tape on both sides.
If an oven window is desired, cut a horizontal oven window (approx. 9 x 4 inches) in one of the long sides, centered and 2 1/2 inches from the closed bottom of the box. Make sure that you measure and cut the hole in the correct spot so that it will view right over the rack level.
To Cover the Box:
You will need to completely cover the box inside and out with foil. Secure the foil to the cardboard box with masking tape curls. (Tape circles are small lengths of masking tape, curled around to attach ends so that the sticky side of the tape is on the outside of curl. These are used to hold the foil into place until you can tape outside seams and corners with metal tape.
1. The 80-inch length of foil will cover the box inside and outside ends and the outside only of the bottom. Lay this foil shiny-side down. Position the box lengthwise and bottom down, centered on the foil strip. Fold one length of the foil up the end and inside of the box. This end of the foil should fold onto the inside bottom about 4 inches. Making sure the foil on the end just covered is snug repeat the same procedure for the other end of the box. Fold the excess foil on the outside edges of the box onto the box sides and secure foil with hidden masking tape curls--both inside and outside the box.
2. The 90-inch length of foil will cover the inner and box outer sides and bottom. Lay foil, shiny side down. Position and center the box across the foil, so the foil will cover the bare sides. Begin on the side of the box without a window. Fold the very end of the foil strip over 1 inch. Fold this end over the side of the box and position it into the inside crease where the bottom and side meet. Making sure the foil on the side just covered is snug, pull the foil around the bottom and up the side (covering the window), down the inside (covering the window,) and across the bottom. Tuck the extra foil underneath the first edge with the 1-inch fold so it goes up the side. With hidden masking tape curls, secure the foil inside and outside the box. Using metal repair tape, tape up all seams. Do not leave any edges untaped.
3. If you are making a window: Using scissors, cut a horizontal slit in the middle of the window hole. stopping 2 inches from each side. Fold the outside flaps through the window to the inside of the box. Cut a plastic roasting oven bay 1/2 inch larger than the window in a rectangle shape. Using a double layer, secure the roasting bag edges with metal tape.
To Bake with Your Apple Box Oven:
You will need:
4 empty soda cans, filled part way with rocks & opening covered with metal tape. (The rocks make it so the cans will not tip over)
10 x 14 inch cookie cooling rack (We found ours at Walmart)
Ground Heavy Duty Foil (Make it longer than the apple box)
Charcoal briquettes
Long handled tongs
1 inch rock
To Bake:
1. Place ground foil, shiny side up, on level ground.
2. Space soda cans on foil so as to support the cookie cooling rack
3. Position cooling rack so that only the very corners are resting on the soda cans. Check to make sure the cans are not spaced too far apart to prevent the apple box from fitting over them.
4. You will regulate the temperature of your oven by the number of briquettes you put in it. One briquette=aprox. 35 degrees F. (Example: for 350 degrees, use 10 charcoals.)
5. Using tongs, place hot briquettes on foil, spreading them out evenly between the cans and across the middle. Place cooling rack on top of cans.
6. To preheat oven, place the apple box over coals and empty rack, resting on corner on a 1-inch rock. (This allows enough air in the box for the charcoal to stay lit.) Let stand for 5 minutes. Charcoal will become whiter as heat spreads.
7. Carefully lift apple box off cols taking care not to tilt and place it beside the ground foil. (This holds trapped heat in the box.)
8. Quickly place food on the cooling rack that is on the soda cans and replace box over coals, resting one corner on the rock. (Make sure that the pan you are using fits on the center of the rack since the heat will not bake any food that is directly over the pop cans.)
9. The charcoal will burn for about 35-40 minutes. When longer cooking times are required, you can add more hot charcoals by slightly lifting the box and slipping them in with long tongs. We found that if a recipe calls for 45 minute baking time and it is warm outside, no additional charcoals would be needed.
REMEMBER: One briquette-approx. 35 degrees F (350 degrees=10 charcoals)
GOOD ADVICE: You will not want to use lighter fluid to start your charcoal since it may affect the taste of your food. We have found that if you use a charcoal starter, your charcoals light faster and are ready to use within 5 minutes time. They are ready to use when there are white spots on them the size of a dime. As the cooking time goes on, they will become whiter.

Halloween Costumes

Here is the first installment of what I've been meaning to post for a while...... I'm going to toot my own horn for a minute and tell you that I did Megan's costume without a pattern! yes, folks, this is the first time I've ever sewn anything without a pattern for someone to wear.... Oh wait. actually no, I'm wrong. I sewed Megan's costume last year without a pattern. wow. I can't believe I forgot that. But this is WAY cuter. I made it like an apron so it can grow with her- the straps are velcro-ed to the inside of the back of her waist band. Her ruby slippers were black sunday shoes we already had- Aunt Valerie sanded them (thanks Val), I painted them red, and then red glittered them with red glitter I already had on hand and something called glitter goo (glue for a strong flexible hold).

Thankfully, Matthew decided he wanted to be Wall-E this year. I said "YAY! We can use a cardboard box!" And that's exactly what we did! The kids painted the base coat on the box and then I went to work. I had elaborate plans to make him some goggles with trimmed tp rolls and supplemental cardboard and some wheels, but this is the furthest it got. Sorry, Matt! He loves it and plays with it all the time- his favorite part is the set of buttons on the top. he'll press one and pretend that it did something. He especially likes the music button. He presses it and we all pretend to be dancing to music. For the week before halloween we hid it so he wouldn't ruin it before the fact. On Halloween he wore it with his Wall-E shirt, but here he's just got on a collered shirt.And here are the models- would anyone be interested in purchasing this lovely bottle of ketchup? Megan is such a kook.

Tons of skipped posts....sorry!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ok, I have a lot to post- halloween, planting my garden, halloween bows I donated to Megan's school's fall festival raffle, our applebox oven, Aaron's 33rd birthday, getting a root canal.... but I found a cool video I WILL post about (don't worry I'll post about the other things as soon as I get pictures to show you ). I saw my mom can vegetables and jams all the time when I was younger and living at home. do you think I learned how to do it myself? of course not. Now I'm regretting it- My friend just got a pressure canner and wants us all to come over every so often to can with her. After she said that I got thinking about how I'd like to do that at home, so I looked up simple bath canning instructions and found a neat tutorial. For those of you who would like to try this at home, here you go:

LOL- Tiffany- I forgot about the cows at the end of the video. yah, that's wierd. LOL

Wonderful video about how we should vote today...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Please vote in line with what you know to be right and good- God wants us to live in a society that promotes life and family values- and the value of the family. This made me cry....

Dr. Matheson and his mighty fine crew....

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hey everyone, I want to give a shout out to Aaron's cousin, Dr. Alex Matheson - he gave me a root canal last week (I know- OUCH) and I can't thank him enough. Those things are never fun, but he did a great job and it was a good experience! Thanks Alex! You should visit his website: I was really impressed with the way he applies the Novocaine- he does this little wiggly cheek thing while he gives it and it doesn't hurt. yay! no hurty shots! Seriously, though, if you're looking for a great dentist in Queen Creek, AZ, he's the Dr to see. The staff is super friendly and make you feel comfortable. Don't wait! That pain in your mouth is your tooth saying "Take me to Matheson dentistry!" and "stop eating all that Halloween candy for crying out loud..." yeah, it's probably saying that, too.